Thursday, April 19, 2012

(Clean out the fridge) Indian Inspired Stew

The ingredients will depend on whatever you have in your fridge. Play around with types of beans, meats, broths, herbs and spices. Learn what flavors to join together by experimentation. I used up stuff that need attention in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Try to pick a theme and match your herbs and spices together, such as Indian, Moroccon, Italian, etc. Not trying to make an authentic soup, just to taste like one.

1 lb flank steak, diced into cubes
1 can garbanzo beans
1/4 red onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cup carrots, diced
1 tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
leftover shiitake mushroom stems, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon prepared garam masala
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup Pinot Noir
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 cups homemade beef broth
1 package frozen peas
1 bouquet garni, plus more herbs to finish
salt and pepper

Brown steak and onions in a little olive oil. Add ground spices and cook for a few minutes. Add carrots, celery, mushroom stems and garlic and saute another 5 minutes. Add wine to deglaze the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup water, broth and tomatoes and bouquet garni. Here, I tied a sprig each of cilantro, oregano, rosemary and several springs of thyme in a bundle (all fresh from the garden). Simmer 2-3 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally, to thicken and concentrate flavors. Cook to your desired consistency. Stir in thawed peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking, just to warm through.  

 Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a handful of fresh chopped herbs. Remove the whole spices before serving. Pairs well with brown rice or warm pita bread.

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